If you’ve been watching, you know Emmy Rossum lets it all hang out as Fiona Gallagher on Showtime’s delightfully twisted Shameless. As the show barrels toward its second season finale, this stunning singer and actress has proven worthy of any challenge, no matter how little inhibition—or clothing—is involved. In this slideshow-style Q&A, she explains what it takes to date a wild woman, the kind of style that turns her on, how to be a karaoke king and more. Read and learn. —Susan L. Hornik
MADE MAN: On Shameless, you are deliciously off the hook. What did you do to prepare for your character’s extreme wackiness? EMMY ROSSUM: Just have fun. Not have my guard up… not self-monitor in any way. This family simultaneously makes me feel so much better about my own upbringing and also really jealous that I didn’t have this much fun growing up!
MM: A lot of guys want to date your character. ER: She’s hot! They want to date her even though she doesn’t look glamorous and wear makeup. I think guys think that’s really sexy. As a woman that’s really empowering too.
MM: What’s your best advice for romancing a wild child? ER: Love with an open heart.
MM: Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with a wild girl? ER: Oh, yeah! Just because somebody has one kind of personality or another doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy.
MM: Your character isn’t afraid to get naked. Is that biographical at all? ER: I loved being naked as a kid. I never wanted to wear clothes when I was very little. But no, I am a little more hesitant about taking off my clothes in reality. I’m definitely not easy.
MM: Vera Wang is your cousin. Do you have any style tips for guys? ER: Deodorant. That’s my only style tip. And no trucker caps.
MM: Do you like when men get dressed up for an occasion? ER: I like a T-shirt and jeans. It shows confidence.
MM: Are there any fashion moves by guys that are total deal breakers? ER: Any kind of guy eyeliner—that is a no-no! I should not be able to see your butt either because your jeans are too tight or because they’re too low! And no Speedos.
MM: You have a beautiful voice. If a guy can’t get through karaoke without being booed off stage, would you still give him a chance? ER: Oh, yeah. If he can cook. That will still work. He’s got to have other qualities.
MM: What’s your best tip for being a better karaoke singer? EM: Choose a funny song that everyone will sing along with. Don’t choose one that nobody knows, because then you’ll be really out on your own, by yourself, exposed.
MM: You’re active with many charities. How many bonus points does a charitable guy score? ER: A lot. If he wants to take me out and he says ‘Let’s go do Habitat for Humanity,’ he’s definitely going to get a second date.
MM: Any other words of wisdom? ER: Never tell a girl that she’s hot. Always tell her that she’s pretty or beautiful. Most women don’t want to be called hot.Editor’s note: Listen to the pretty beautiful lady.